Meet Your Hosts

Auld Sweet Olive Bed & Breakfast

JESSICA LOYACONO

Innkeeper

A native New Orleanian and a veteran of a decade in the hospitality industry here, Jessica has not only a wealth of experience, but a passion for all things New Orleans.

As the Assistant Manager of the Whiskey Blue Lounge at the New Orleans W Hotel, Jessica hosted a wide variety of international and domestic guests, as well as quite a few celebrities. (Ask her, she has some fabulous stories!)

As the Manager of the hip New Orleans gastropub Capdeville, Jessica trained wait staff, coordinated reservations and large parties, and even helped create the food menu for the restaurant.

Jessica’s family has been in New Orleans for centuries. Her grandmother even lived on Rampart Street back in the 1930s! For finding the perfect foodie restaurant, or an off-the radar jazz club, she is uniquely qualified to help curate your own adventure in New Orleans. Whether this is your 1st trip to the Crescent City or your 50th, Jessica will help you make the most of your time here ... not to mention making a delicious breakfast to help you start your day!

NANCY GUNN

Owner

Prior to purchasing Auld Sweet Olive B&B, Nancy spent a decade and a half in Hollywood, producing documentaries and unscripted television. Her work producing for The Travel Channel landed Nancy her dream job on CBS’s The Amazing Race. Traveling with the contestants, Nancy journeyed around the world four times, and won an Emmy Award as the show’s Senior Producer.

Nancy’s work producing other hit reality series such as Hell’s Kitchen (FOX), Big Brother (CBS), and Rock Star (CBS) led to her position as Executive Producer for NBC’s long-running series The Celebrity Apprentice. In addition to her Emmy, Nancy has been nominated for awards by the Producer’s Guild and the International Documentary Association.

Before her television career, Nancy served as the first Director of the acclaimed storytelling series (and podcast favorite) “The Moth,” and held positions at such varied institutions as the United Nations, the Metropolitan Opera, and the Richmond City Morgue.

Born in Williamsburg, Virginia, Nancy holds a Bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary, and a Master’s degree from Tulane University. In addition to sharing Sweet Olive with visitors from around the world, Nancy loves to cook, play the violin, and teach. Since 2014 she has served as a faculty member of Tulane University, where she teaches Theatre History, Plays and Playwrights, and Producing.

JIM THOMPSON

Assistant Innkeeper

Head of Housekeeping

A native New Orleanian (his family settled here in the early 1800s), the term “Renaissance Man” doesn’t even begin to describe Jim’s talents.

Following his service in the U.S. Navy, Jim attended culinary school at the prestigious Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago, specializing in Northern Italian cuisine. After showing off his skills in the kitchens of several prominent restaurants, including Wisconsin’s 4-star American Club, Jim followed his heart back to Louisiana. Jim segued into the botanical arts, serving as Coordinator at the Louisiana Nursery in Baton Rouge, one of the South’s top 10 Nurseries.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Jim entered nursing school, became a Licensed Practical Nurse, and took time out to serve as caretaker for his ailing father. In 2013, Jim found his way to Sweet Olive where he currently serves as our Assistant Innkeeper, Head of Housekeeping, and beloved Majordomo Extraordinare.

ROBBIE JOHNSON

Housekeeping

Hailing originally from Dorchester, Wisconsin, Robbie made his way to New Orleans searching (as many have before) for adventure. Just months later, Hurricane Katrina devastated the city, and Robbie was forced to evacuate.

When Robbie returned, he won what many sports fans would consider a dream job, working at the New Orleans Superdome. He continues to serve in a supervising housekeeping capacity at the Dome. Working at the Plaza level, Robbie gets to see what few fans do – the Saints marching onto the field, up close and personal.

In his leisure time, Robbie enjoys art and drawing, as well as basketball and many other sports. A fixture at Sweet Olive since 2014, his hard work is exceeded only by his friendliness and unflagging good cheer.